Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California says she won’t be intimidated even though she was the intended recipient of two suspicious packages intercepted Wednesday.
“I don’t know whether the bombs are real or not, but we should not crawl under the bed, close the doors, not go out, be afraid to go to rallies, whatever,” Waters said in an interview with Blavity Politics Wednesday.
She added, “We have to keep to doing what we’re doing in order to make this country right. That’s what I intend to do, and as the young people said, ‘I ain’t scared.’”
Sources told CNN that the first package to Waters was intercepted at a congressional mail sorting facility outside Washington. A second package was found at a postal facility in south central Los Angeles, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.
She also told Blavity Politics that President Donald Trump “in his own way really does promote a lot of violence” and “should take responsibility for the kind of violence that we are seeing for the first time in different ways.”
The California Democrat argued that Trump’s supporters are “acting out what they believe the president wants them to do and the way that he wants them to act.”
“He is expert at lying and deceiving and encouraging people in his own way to be violent, to be racist, to be separatist,” Waters said.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders pushed back against accusations that Trump’s rhetoric criticizing his political opponents and the media has incited violence.
“The president has condemned violence in all forms, has done done that since day 1, will continue to do that,” Sanders told reporters Thursday morning.
The packages addressed to Waters, a liberal firebrand and outspoken critic against the President, had similarities to the other suspicious packages targeting other top Democratic officials, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump on Wednesday condemned the political threats, saying “this egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans.” But his conciliatory tone quickly passed as he shifted to blaming the mainstream media for all the “anger” in the US in a Thursday morning tweet.
Waters has been criticized by Trump and other Republicans for encouraging people to publicly confront and “push back” on members of the Trump administration over immigration policy.
Trump likes to invoke Waters at campaign rallies and on Twitter, often accusing her of urging people to “harm” government officials, which Waters vehemently denies.
CNN’s Elizabeth Landers, Pamela Brown and Mary Kay Mallonee contributed to this report.